Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis promises to challenge federal vaccine mandate


  • photo courtesy Governor's Press Office

Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed Thursday to legally challenge a soon-to-be-released federal rule that would require workers at businesses with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

DeSantis indicated that the case likely will be filed at the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which he said is an avenue in challenging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has developed the rule.

“We are going to contest that immediately,” DeSantis said during an appearance in Fort Myers. “We think the state of Florida has standing to do it, and we also know businesses that we’re going to work with to contest it.”

DeSantis also suggested that the state Legislature could take action.

“We have to protect the jobs of Floridians,” he said.

DeSantis has been an outspoken critic of vaccination and mask mandates during the pandemic and contends the federal government doesn’t have the authority to require workers at businesses to be vaccinated. But President Joe Biden on Thursday said more needs to be done to vaccinate people and that businesses are increasingly requiring their employees to get the shots.

“Let’s be clear: Vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us,” Biden said, according to a transcript released by the White House. Biden said the rule will be released “soon,” though he did not give a specific date.

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